Three Tips For Choosing Tap Shoes

December 4, 2023 By Isabelle Sophie Martinet

There are lots of shapes, styles, and colors of tap shoes to choose from. All tap shoes have one thing in common however, and that is the taps that are fastened to the bottom of them. That’s what makes a functional pair of tap shoes.

The first thing to look for is an inferior style of fastener to hold on the tap. This fastener is called a rivet. You can identify a riveted tap by looking at the fastener itself. Is there a slot to put a screwdriver in and remove the tap? If not than you are more than likely looking at a riveted tap.

Rivets are great and a very strong fastener, ninety nine percent of the time. Every once in a while a rivet is not fastened to the shoe properly and becomes weak. As the student uses the shoe the rivet becomes weaker and looser. It eventually comes loose and the tap pops. When this happens to a riveted tap the shoe cannot be repaired. The shoe has to be thrown away and you’ll have to buy a new pair.

Your second tip is the type of fastener that you should be on the look out for. Always look for a screw that is holding on the tap. A screw is much less likely to fail than a rivet. And if a screw does for some reason become damaged, which I have never heard of, you can easily remove it and replace it. Again you can identify a screw by looking for a slot for a screwdriver. You will see it easily by flipping over the shoe and examining the tap. You won’t be able to miss it.

Your last tip is to get a shoe with a solid heel. Hollow plastic heels are a sign of a very cheap pair of tap shoes. Hollow heels don’t give the fastener, either rivet or screw, much material to bite into and hold the tap on. The tap can easily pop and there’s a good chance they will be unrepairable.

Now if you find a pair of taps with both hollow plastic heels and rivets you’ll definitely want to save your money. Shoes combining both of these undesirable features have been know not to last through a single semester of tap dancing. You’ll mostly see this with children’s tap shoes that are suspiciously inexpensive compared to most of the other available shoes.